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Thread: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

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    Supporter kijani's Avatar
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    Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    I know some of us have our own Book of Shadows. Some of us have been thinking of starting one and just aren't sure how, and some of you are reading this thread and thinking to yourself 'What the hell are you talking about, kijani?' That said, I wanted to start this thread to explain not only the purpose behind a Book of Shadows, but also to offer you some tips, tricks, and crafty ideas for creating your very own, should you want to do so.

    ((Other mods, please excuse the double posts. I'm trying to post this in pieces so that it's not one giant block of text.))

    What is a Book of Shadows?

    This question has a different answer depending upon who you ask. If you've been around PF for a while, you've probably heard the saying 'Ask five Pagans a question and you get six answers'. In truth, a Book of Shadows really can be many different things for different people. I'm going to explain some of the uses in this post to clear a few of those questions up.

    A Reference Guide

    A Book of Shadows is often used as a reference guide. In fact, when many of you think of a Book of Shadows, this is probably the sort of thing you imagine. Books of Shadows can hold correspondence tables, spells and rituals, divination tables and meanings, etc. This sort of thing is very personalized, just like every book should be. Keep in mind, your practices and rituals are not going to be the same as someone else's, so your book will differ as well. Maybe something that means one thing to your friend will mean something different to you. Write it down. If you think it's important, write it down. If you don't want to forget it, write it down. If you think that you will use it again, DEFINITELY write it down. Keep in mind as well that this is your own personal book. It is YOUR reference, so you can be as concise or as detailed when you write things down as possible.

    A Journal

    Not just any old journal. Some people who use their Book of Shadows as a journal do so with a specific thing in mind. This is a less organized option than the first one, and some people will say much more personal. It's up to you how you write your entries. You can use it to keep track of strange dreams and what you think they mean, personal tarot readings. If you went with an option like this, it's likely that you're less concerned with correspondence tables and formulas for your rituals, and maybe more concerned with how these turned out, what it meant to you that day etc.

    With our powers combined....

    Some people choose to combine the options of organization and personalization and use both. I personally like to do this, because I am the type of person that wants not only to have those tables and references for myself, but I also want to have record of 'how well did this work that day as opposed to this', 'what did I think -this- meant', 'how did I manage that, or how can I use A to help be with B'....and other such things. You can do exactly that and still have organization to it as well. Keep your tables and written out spells and rituals in the front, and your 'journal' portion in the back, for example. Do it however you want really, because in the end, it is your own personal guide anyway. You want to personalize it to make it as easy for you to use as possible.
    It's a really, really cool thing, to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it.
    -Adam Lambert


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    Supporter kijani's Avatar
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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    To Bind, or Not to Bind? That is the question...

    Now that you've decided just how you want to organize everything, there are a few other things that you need to consider before you start writing away. I'm going to show you a few of the more popular options and discuss pros and cons of each option.

    CD or DVD of Shadows

    Type everything up on the computer. Save it to a CD or a DVD and you've got a Book of Shadows tht you can carry with you just about anywhere to use. The MAIN problem with this option is this: What happens if your CD gets scratched or otherwise damaged? You'd be in a bit of trouble, but there are other options.


    E-Book of Shadows

    This option is definitely growing in popularity, especially since this generations Pagans have pretty much grown up with a computer. This is exactly what it sounds like--a computer-based Book of Shadows. These can be organized just as we discussed above, but are generally kept on a computer, a laptop, or some sort of external storage device (that can be used on a computer). There are several pros and cons to this option.

    PROS:

    -This option is neat. You'll never have to worry about whether or not you'll be able to read what you wrote a year down the road.

    -You can color code things with the simple click of a mouse. This is always handy.

    -This option is really easy to transport via thumb drives and external hard-drives. You can save your Book as a pdf file. If you need to, you can even print pages.

    -Your Book of Shadows is always on hand if you really need it, especially if, like me, your computer goes just about everywhere with you.

    CONS:

    -Unless you print your pages, outdoor rituals, spells, etc can be difficult if your Book of Shadows is on your laptop.

    -With a computerized Book of Shadows, you've got less options to add those special little personal touches.

    -What if your computer crashes or your files somehow get corrupted? You better hope you've backed up all of your files a few times. If not, you've just lost all of the work that you've put into your Book.



    Three Ring Binder of Shadows

    This is a quick and very cost-effective way to keep your Book of Shadows together. It's very easy to organize, relatively simple to personalize, and probably one of the cheapest ways to bind your Book of Shadows if keeping everything on a computer isn't something that you think sounds like a very good idea for you.


    PROS:

    -Simple, cheap way to bind you Book of Shadows.

    -This option makes it very easy to add, remove, and move pages in your Book of Shadows around when you need to do so.

    -Relatively easy to personalize. You can add drawings and diagrams if you wish. Some binders even come with pockets--an added bonus!

    -Lined paper is also inexpensive. Binders come in multiple sizes, so theoretically, you will never really run out of pages or room for anything that you need.

    CONS:

    -Fragility--while one of the more cost effective options initially, you may want to spend extra money on sheet protectors to protect your pages and the ring holes. Wear and tear can damage simple lined paper as well as the binders that hold it.

    -Bulky: While it may not seem like it at first, a 3-inch binder with several hundred sheets of paper can get bulky and heavy, which isn't always fun to deal with when you want to transport things.


    (Sketch/Diary/Blank) Book of Shadows

    This is the fun and a more traditional option. It's a book...literally. This would be a hand-written option with lots of personalization possibilities in store. This is my personal favorite. As with the other options, there are pros and cons with this options as well. Some of those are highlighted below:

    PROS:

    -This is a book. It can do on a shelf, you can write in it yourself, and personalize it as much as you want.

    -There are lots of options here--hardback and paperback, plain color or decorative, embossed or normal, wooden book, leather binding, moleskin binding, cardboard, traditional....the list goes on and on.

    -Easily portable and (generally) pretty lightweight.

    CONS:

    -Most pre-made books come with a certain amount of pages. When you run out, you'd need to buy another one. That can be costly. It can also mean that not all of your information is in one spot, which can also be problematic.

    -You'd have to handwrite everything. If you're not the kind of person that likes to do that kind of thing, then this option is probably not for you.

    -Bindings can wear. Premade books can be damaged just as easily as some of these other options and tend to be a bit more expensive, so this is something to think about.




    Of course, there are more pros and cons to each of these options, and depending on your situation, you may be able to think of several different pros and cons of your own. These are just some of the most popular options right now, but there are others. You need to think not only about how you are going to use your Book of Shadows, but how much time, money, and effort you plan to put into it before deciding this.







    Coming soon:

    -Organization and Decoration: Crafty ideas for personlizing and organizing your book

    -Storage, Display, and Privacy
    It's a really, really cool thing, to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it.
    -Adam Lambert


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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    Organization Ideas

    Trying to decide how to organize all of your information can be a bit of an undertaking sometimes, especially if you're not the type of person who usually likes to do such things. Luckily, since your Book of Shadows is a very personal thing, there are several different options you can look at depending on how you plan to use your Book of Shadows.


    If you plan on using your Book mainly as a reference guide, think about keeping things in a way that is easy for you to navigate personally. Remember, it doesn't really matter if anyone else understands how you organize things or why you've done things the way you have. Your Book is yours, so above all, you are the one that really needs to understand how your Book is organized. Here are a few options if you're still trying to decide...


    For Your Information...


    Alphabetize

    If you're using your Book primarily as a reference, think of alphabetizing your resources. This makes them easy to find in a quickly and timely manner. Something like this:

    -Correspondence tables
    -Divination
    -Rituals/Spells

    You can separate these however you wish. I dog-ear certain pages. Some people use post-it note tabs, stings, and other bookmarks. The possibilities are endless.



    Prioritize

    If you're not the kind of person who likes things to be alphabetized, try maybe organizing your Book based on priority. Think it through. What are you going to use the most? What are you going to use the least? Organize your information like that and then you'll know where everything is.


    Penny for your Thoughts...

    If you plan on using your Book of Shadows primarily as a magical journal-type thing, how you organize things may not be too much of a problem. Again, this is your Book, so how much or how little you write is all up to you. My one big suggestion here would be to try and date things or do something so that you can tell when you wrote it.




    If you plan on combining a reference source and a journal-format, there are quite a few different ways that you can organize things. Split them up. Put your references in the front and your journal in the back, or vice-versa. You can alphabetize or prioritize your references. You can date your journal entries and other Book pages, or you can choose not to. Post-its, book marks, strings, or dog-ears? All of that is up to you. Remember, I've said it a million times already: this is your Book of Shadows, so you need to make sure that you do it in a way that you will understand.
    It's a really, really cool thing, to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it.
    -Adam Lambert


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    Storage, Display, and Privacy


    While working on your Book of Shadows, think about a few different things. Here are a few questions to ask yourself while you are assembling your Book of Shadows. Again, depending on what your situation is, some of these may apply to you, and you may have some questions of your own:

    -Will my Book of Shadows be on display where other people can see it? If so, do I want to do anything about that? Should my Book of Shadows be easily identifiable or not?

    -Do I want to keep my Book of Shadows somewhere private? If so, where could I keep it? Do I simply hide it? Do I put it into a drawer? Do I lock it away somewhere?

    -Am I going to allow other people to look inside my Book of Shadows at any time? If so, is there anything in my Book that I don't want other people to see at all? If I'm going to let other people look at it, how often? Will I share it?

    -Do I plan on carrying my Book of Shadows with me all over the place? What do I want to do to protect it while I am out?

    -Do I have pets or other animals that might...soil your Book if you display it publicly? Do any of your animals chew on things or drool?


    Those are some of the main questions I can think of. They are just things to keep in mind when you're working on your book, that way you know what you want to do with it when you are finished. After all, theoretically, you won't be writing in it all the time. You're going to want to make sure that it is in a good safe place when you're not using it, that way you can continue to use it and it will continue to be useful for you.




    Later :

    -Crafts for the handy pagan for your Book of Shadows
    It's a really, really cool thing, to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it.
    -Adam Lambert


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

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    Copper Member Celest's Avatar
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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    Thank you for this!
    It has given me a lot to think about.
    I have herb journals, a little spell book, gardening journals galore, but it is all all over the place.
    I need to figure out how to put it all together.
    Lots to consider!
    What you see depends on what you are looking for.

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    Supporter kijani's Avatar
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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    I'll be posting other crafts, tips, and tricks from time to time as well! Glad you liked it so far!
    It's a really, really cool thing, to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it.
    -Adam Lambert


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    *bookmark* this is really quite helpful i didnt even consider some of this
    世の中に潜み落下した「アレ」はねえか? 誰が書き換える 世界の汚れは?

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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    Thanks! I'll have a few more posts up sometime tonight or tomorrow
    It's a really, really cool thing, to be able to show people that you can be yourself, and you should be proud of yourself, and you should own who you are and what you're about, and never make apologies for it.
    -Adam Lambert


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    Oh, excellent! I've been meaning to start a BoS! I think I'm gonna do something with a binder, because I'm a perfectionist and must have it arranged just-so. And I'll probably change my mind on how to arrange it, and then want to completely re-do the labels :P

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    Re: Book of Shadows: Tips, Tricks, and Crafts for creating your own...

    I have a slate book of shadows, It's rather heavy and useless to carry around, I don't recommend getting a slate cover if you intend to use it out and about, but it does look good on an altar and is great around the home. Just saying
    "Otwarty świat; rany zamknięte."
    - Open world; Wounds closed.

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